’Twas the night before midterms (“midterm” even though it’s the last week of classes), and…. Oh no, you haven’t finished memorizing the material! Luckily for you, do we have the study methods to help you memorize the material much, much faster and still get to bed before the wee hours of dawn. While they may require some effort, we can promise that after trying these strategies, you’ll never forget what you learned. Go on, pick a study method based on your self-perceived level of unhinged-ness.
Level 1: Turn your notes into a bad Tumblr poem
Ahem. Allow me to demonstrate.
an under-damped oscillator
oscillates at least once
before dying out
with exponential decay.
my bank account balance
to be dying out
Level 2: Explain the concepts to a turkey
This is similar to rubber ducking, except much more effective. After looking over the concepts for a while, stand in front of a random turkey in the Yard and explain what you learned to the turkey. Don’t worry about the looks you get from the tourists walking around, searching for the statue, or taking pictures of Widener. They’re just jealous of your vast knowledge, admiring your confidence and passion for learning. Sure, you could just stay in your room and explain your notes to a stuffed animal or a pillow, but who does that? Spice it up, y’all!
Level 3: Write a parody of a song based on the material.
Pick a song you love. There’s no way this strategy could possibly ruin the song for all eternity! Here’s the important part. You MUST sing it to your professor so they can give you feedback in case you got any of the concepts wrong. I must stress to you that the entire process is worthless unless you sing it to your professor in the most crowded possible office hours (so the other students can also learn from your song). Sure, you could just make a one-pager, but that’s no fun! The world is missing out on the singing skills you honed in the shower.
Level 4: Create an expressive dance routine
Use props, all of your limbs, and all of your brain cells to perform an expressive dance routine based on the concepts you just learned. For example, Naruto-run down Mass. Ave. to demonstrate an electrical signal traveling down the axon of a nerve cell (don’t jaywalk, because you need to stop and hit the Griddy at all the crosswalks to show saltatory conduction). I promise the look in everyone’s eyes will be from pure awe. Also, if your section crush is staring at you oddly the next day, it’s because they fell in love with you the moment they saw you Naruto-running down Mass. Ave. Yeah, you could have just used a whiteboard in one of the libraries to diagram the neuron, but who has time for that?
Level 5: Steal the moon
Take a practice exam. If you reach your target score, treat yourself! Enlist your roommates and travel to the SEC and construct a replica of the SR-6 Shrink Ray (if you need help, ask any student passing by — this was on the first ES 50 problem set). Use it to steal the moon. While yes, you could just take the practice test and go to bed if you’re satisfied. But that’s no fun! You worked hard and deserve a little treat.
No, I am definitely not writing this the night before an exam. And if there is an exam, I am well prepared for it.